Proof of Concept


What is Proof of Concept?

Proof of Concept (POC) supports academic staff with the development of commercial ideas to the point at which they can engage with external collaborators and gain further investment.

The scheme aims to support the development of ideas that would benefit from a significant step forward in their route towards commercialisation and delivering impact.

What are the benefits of the Proof of Concept Scheme?

The scheme can fund activity such as:

  • Technical feasibility studies and evaluation of an invention
  • Prototype design and development
  • Undertaking further scientific and technical development of an idea to improve the IP position or allow IP to be filed.

This type of activity will develop ideas with a significant step towards industry engagement and/or commercialisation.

Dedicated support

Supporting academic colleagues who wish to engage with external partners are the dedicated Knowledge Exchange (KE) teams who underpin and facilitate KE between the university and external partners.

Additionally, leading on the implementation of the Impact, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IIKE) strategy and providing guidance and support are the Partnerships and Regional Engagement.

Together these teams are in place to respond flexibly and rapidly to requests for support in order to seize opportunities as they arise. These teams can help to:

• support the development of collaborations with internal and external partners for mutual benefit
• identify/validate pathways to impact for your research
• support the identification of and application for the resource needed to develop collaboration and impact activity
• evidence and communicate the impact your research makes
• identify and protect any intellectual property associated with your work.

Case Studies

Read our case studies for inspiration on how KE Proof of Concept funding can help you develop your commercial ideas to the point at which you can engage with external collaborators and gain further investment.

Professor Dan Allwood

"Organic magnetoresistive transistors"

With the support of Proof of Concept funding, a team in Materials Science and Engineering is developing a hybrid magnetic/organic transistor that offers extremely large signals for greater sensitivity at a more moderate cost than other alternatives. Read more.

Professor Steve Armes

"Block copolymers for chemical and biomedical uses"

A KE Proof of Concept grant helped continue world-leading research in the field of polymerisation-induced self-assembly (PISA). This new synthetic approach provides a highly efficient, versatile and generic route to organic nanoparticles for a wide range of potential applications. Read more.